Riding 400 miles on a '74 Norton 850 Commando in a day can do things to a man. Especially when the new, "high-quality" coils give up on Pacific Coast Highway after he pulls out to pass a Suburban in Big Sur and the bike dies dead in the wrong lane in heavy rain.
Seeing the Yamaha FZ-07 flat-tracker (June) makes me say that H-D better get that Street 750 into a racing frame ASAP or they’ll be shut out of dirt track for the first time in the sport’s history. Or maybe the AMA will change the rules in their favor again.
The most extreme V-twin superbike gets even more singularly focused
Never before have superbikes been closer to the street-bikes they are based on than right now. As worldwide racing rules, such as those in the FIM Superbike World Championship, attempt to keep big-budget manufacturers in check, the very bikes that these Superbikes are based on have been taken to a completely new level of sophistication.
I don't know who's in charge over at Ducati, but letting a bunch of journalists ride Chaz Davies’ factory Superbikes at Imola, barely a third of the way into the World Superbike season, seems crazy. World Superbike rules mandated strict limitations on modifications to the production bikes the Superbikes are based on.
Audi makes fuel from water in this lab. But is it “green”?
Audi has announced a process by which hydrocarbon liquids can be made from water and carbon dioxide. Some readers have responded to this news by saying, “I knew it! I just knew one day they’d find a way to run cars on water!" But then even the most credulous among us feels that tickle of skepticism.
While flipping through the crusty pages of this quarter-century-old issue, I was delighted to come across a studio photo of my nitrous-oxide-equipped Suzuki GSX-R1100 I had built and raced in the Formula USA national series. Race Watch offered a look into the WERA-sanctioned “anything goes” F-USA roadrace format, showcasing a variety of the teams and diverse machinery that populated the grid in the season opener held at Willow Springs Raceway.
Five items to keep your bike running and looking like a million bucks
DuPont's Chain Saver
Want to keep up with maintenance like lubing your chain when traveling? DuPont's Chain Saver ($5.99) wax-based chain lube is the answer. The 4-ounce bottle packs away easily, taking up less space than deodorant (you can live without that). The formula sets up with a dry film that resists debris while it lubricates. (631)666-4186 performancelubricantsusa.com
Big Twin Transmission Oil
It you ride a big V-twin cruiser and want to smooth out your transmissions shifting, BelRay offers its new Big Twin Transmission Oil ($8.95/liter). Formulated to better lubricate sliding contacts of bevel gears in big-twin transmissions, this oil is designed to smooth shift action. The 85w-140 oil is colored red to help early detection of leaks. (732)938-2421 belray.com
Don't use dish soap to detail your bike; instead use a full line of motorcycle-specific cleaning and detailing products from S100 Pictured are the sprayon, rinse-off Total Cycle Cleaner ($14.95); Detail + Wax ($9.49); Paste Wax ($15.95); Special Surfaces Cleaner ($10.49); Corrosion Protectant ($10.49); and Engine Brightener ($8.95). (203)488-6569 S100.com
Racing Pro 4T Ow-40
Not just any oil will do in your sportbikes engine. And make sure you use a motorcycle-specific lubricant like Motorex's fully synthetic Racing Pro 4T Ow-40 available in 1-liter ($33.50) and 4-liter ($125) containers. Designed for high-performance and racing applications, it offers excellent resistance to high temps and shearing for reduced friction. (763)417-1377 motorexusa.com
In my quest to build the ultimate (for me) 250cc ADV Lite bike out of the used Yamaha WR250R dual-sport I bought a couple of years ago, I finally caved in and changed the stock seat for something more comfortable and supportive. Just a few years ago, Seat Concepts was started in a Southern California garage by off-road/adventure riding enthusiasts Lendon Smith and Robert Lightfeldt.
Picturing the worst so you have a plan for dealing with it
Each moment of every ride calls for a recalibration of the five priorities we will list in this series of articles. These "Top Priority" Ride Crafts aim to get street riders aware of the most important aspects of surviving and enjoying street riding.
There are motorcycles, and then there are motorcycles. What I'm getting at is this: There are motorcycles that appeal to a wide audience, and then there are strange choices to own, to love, and to ride. But I’ve come to appreciate a magical truth about life; for every weird thing out there, there’s generally some weirdo who needs it.
Engines are air pumps, identical in concept to gas-station air compressors but much more efficient because of the years of refinement lavished upon them by airflow specialists armed with flow benches. A brake master cylinder is a pump. Bike engines have oil and, usually, water pumps.
“What’s next?” is topic A in my conversations with builders from the US and Europe, as it’s clear people are a little bored. Anyone who’s insta-clicked away from a same-same no-fender CB custom with plank seat/swapped tank/ Firestones understands my point.
FUELED BY PASSION FOR A BEAUTIFULLY WIDE SWATH OF MOTORCYCLING, THE 2015 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING PARTIES ON
John L. Stein
After seven years, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, held this past May at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California, has not just remained faithful to its vows, but it has withstood the test of time. The Motorcycle Gathering has maintained a consistently top-quality participant experience, particularly defined by quality and service.
Modern sport-touring bikes come in many shapes and sizes, with ADV-inspired pavement-pounders growing in popularity. With their sporty engines, good handling, roomy sit-up ergos, bump-neutralizing suspension travel, and cargo-carrying capacity, these bikes hold much appeal if you’re planning an extended tour, carving up the canyons, or running errands.
EXAMINING BOTH SIDES OF THE NAKED MIDDLEWEIGHT COIN
"Naked middleweight" has a nice ring to it, no? Certainly better than "naked heavyweight," though “naked lightweight” does sound intriguing. And these two unfaired sportbikes are nothing if not intriguing. Because while they fill the same slot in each manufacturer’s respective lineup, in some ways they couldn’t be more different.
The motorcycle look has almost always been cool, but retro leather jackets and flannel shirts have exploded into the general fashion the world over the past few years. Without the right bike, though, you’re just a poseur. Or perhaps simply a good candidate for becoming a rider who can pull off the full image and join us in the riding life.
I'm not looking to start an argument, but I'm pretty sure my next statement will light one off in, oh, about three milliseconds: The BMW R1200RT is the best all-around motorcycle on the road today. That’s my opinion, anyway, and you’re certainly not obliged to agree.
Q: I have a 2007 Ducati ST3, which I bought new and was always maintained as required. At only 35,000 kilometers, I noticed a tapping noise under light acceleration, which I knew didn’t come from the valve train. Long story short, I took it to the dealership to get them to listen to it; they had to take it apart to find the rod bearings totally done.
BASIC SPECS: The R1150GS is powered by an 1,130cc air-/oil-cooled, four-stroke opposed twin featuring four valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection, and shaft drive. The 1150 introduced a six-speed gearbox, while later models came equipped with dual spark plug heads and servo-assisted combined ABS brakes.
Q: DO quick shifters have a negative effect on gearbox life? TIM ASKEW CYCLEWORLD.COM A: Anyone with gearbox-service experience knows that the dogs that engage on the first-to-second upshift get the worst hammering. The reason? The first-to-second shift has the largest rpm difference.
Racing the GNCC Limestone 100 aboard Yamaha’s new YZ250FX
What I could see on my iPhone weather app wasn’t good: five days of dark clouds and lightning bolts in Springville, Indiana, right where I was headed to compete in my first GNCC event. I was disappointed, but not altogether dejected, because I was slated to ride the new 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX in the Limestone too.
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